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tv   News  Al Jazeera  August 29, 2013 5:00am-5:31am EDT

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first of all, i have not made a decision. i have gotten options from our military. >> the world waits to see what action the u.s. will take over a suspected chemical attack in syria. this is the world news. also in this program a former u.s. army psychiatrist is sentenced on death for killing 13 soldiers at fort hood in texas four years ago. japan considers re-opening its nuclear power plants in the wake of the fukushima disaster.
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we report from yemen where children under the age of 5 don't have enough food. barack obama says the u.s. military has presented him with options for strikes against syria, but he's not yet made a decision. that's after appeals by united nations chiefs to hold off carrying out any strike. u.n. secretary-general moon says weapons inspectors will leave syria on saturday, and must be allowed to complete their work. obama says the aim of any military action would be to deter future chemical weapons attacks. >> if, in fact, we can take limited, tailored approaches, not getting drawn into a long conflict, not a repetition of, you know, iraq, which i know a lot of people are worried about,
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but if we were saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying, stop doing this, that can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term and may have a positive impact in the sense chemical weapons are not used again on innocent civilians. >> domestic political pressure forced the british government to delay plans for a quick vote in parliament authorizing military action in syria. a final vote will now not be held until after the u.n. weapons inspectors report, and that report isn't expected for at least four days, which will delay any u.k. decision to get involved. >> we're determined that this country will be clear, that we are determined to take action against war crimes, against crimes against humanity, and that is what the use of chemical weapons constitutes. we will also proceed as far as possible on a consensual basis.
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that's why we've been talking to the opposition in this country as well as, of course, within the coalition over the last couple of days. >> france is also weighing out its military options in syria. jackie is in paris. we'll go to that in a moment. in the last hour there's meetings with the syrian opposition. what do we know about those? >> reporter: well, the french have been taking very much a leading role in terms of political and diplomatic recognition of the syrian opposition. there were one of the first if not the first country to recognize the syrian national council as being the legitimate representative of the syrian people, and now i think that the meeting that we're seeing in paris on thursday, we're going to -- the syrians will be expecting to find out more details about what president hollande meant when he said earlier in the week that france was going to increase its military support to the syrian opposition.
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obviously, they will be interested in whatever increase in weaponry and logistical support they can get. in particular at the moment we can expect the leader of the snc to be pushing president hollande very hard to engage and bring other members of the international community with him into the idea of launching air strikes against some of the targets of the assad regime. >> as far as any u.s. military intervention is concerned, what role might france play? >> reporter: france is continuing with its contingency planning, and we're aware that one french navy vessel has been moved from its port in the south of france towards the eastern mediterrane mediterranean. we're also aware that french fighter aircraft are positioned now at a military base and airbase in the north of saudi arabia. these are the kind of logistical plans that need to be put in place if a decision is to be taken simply because of the time involved in moving this weaponry
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around the globe. however, taking the decision is quite another matter. we've seen an opinion poll in the french press in the last 24 hours, which makes very interesting reading, particularly for french politicians. more than half the french public, it would appear, would support military action against syria provided that french forces are not involved. if french forces were involved, more than half of the public, it would appear, are against such an opposition. what we're seeing here is skepticism and caution on the part of the public by what they're being told by their leaders, the arguments and justifications they hear from their leaders about military intervention in another country. there have been plenty of examples of that in recent history, which haven't necessarily gone according to plan. of course, the various tactical planners and military strategists are making assumptions about how the assad
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regime might react if they were to be bombed. there's an assumption that it might discourage further use of chemical weapons, but, of course, that is assuming that people in damascus are thinking and reasoning the same way as western military strategists are, and that is a very big assumption to make. >> thank you, jackie. the syrian government its own soldiers were the victims of chemical weapons. syrian's ambassador to the u.n. is calling for the npors in da mats cuss to look into the new claims. dominick cain reports. >> reporter: syrian tv broadcasts what it says are chemical agents that government forces apparently seized in recent raids in a suburb of damascus. the program claims this hold was found close to the center of the syrian capital on saturday. it says, some of the soldiers were suffocating when they entered the town. it's prompted the syrian government to call for the u.n. chemical weapons inspection team
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currently in damascus immediately to examine these apparent incidents. >> members of the syrian army inhaled poisonous gas as a result of the use by the terrorist-armed groups of chemical agents. >> reporter: this is not the first time president bashar al assad's government and its allies allege fighters have tried to use chemical weapons in syria. the russian government has alleged that a weapon was fired at assad forces in aleppo in march. a suggestion the u.s. government has rejected. in may in a series of raids across turkey, 12 suspected members of the front were arrested. at the time a government official suggested the 12 were in possession of two kilos of sarin gas. there's no confirmation of that
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from the turkish government. the syrian government's claim that rebels have used chemical weapons more than two years into the civil war may not surprise many, nor will the timing of it, given the moves by western powers at the u.n. for military action. the united nations team in damascus may well have to investigate these allegations delaying any western armed intervention yet further. dominick cain, al jazeera. a u.s. army psychiatrist has been sentenced to death for the murder of 13 people. nadil hasan went on a shooting rampage at a military base in texas in 2009. we have more. >> each individual will make a statement. >> reporter: 13 families waited almost four years for this day. >> this has been a very long and exhausting process. we are tired. we are hurt. we are resolved justice has been
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served. >> reporter: the former army major who murdered her loved ones was sentenced to death by lethal injection. let's go to the palace in paris. we were just discussing the talks under way between the french government and syrian oppositi opposition. let's listen to the statement being made. >> translator: after the brutal chemical attack that led to a massacre a week ago in syria, and as you know, more than 1400 people have lost their lives. they are martyrs in addition to thousands and thousands of injured people as a result of these chemical attacks. we have discussed with the president these matters, and we thank very much the republic of france and the position and
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stance of the french president and the french government, and we thank the french people for being sympathizers with the syrian people against such a crime and attack. this crime will be punished. those who committed the crime will be punished. the international community, the alliances of the syrian people on top of which france will do their job, and we thank also our alliances, the united states, the united kingdom. and i am telling the syrian people our families inside syria that any punishment will be there for this criminal, assad,
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of course, and the weapons used against the syrian people. we condemn the chemical attacks and the usage of any types of chemical weapons. we cannot accept these weapons to be used against the syrian people or any other people on earth. we condemn the usage of all chemical weapons. once again, mr. president, thank you very much for the republic of france and for your position, your just position, your humane position against this tyranny in syria. thank you very much indeed. >> so we had the heed of the syrian national coalition there speaking outside the palace in paris just basically thanking all of his allies and vows president assad will be punished and condemning chemical attacks or chemical weapons attacks
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anywhere in the world. that was about it really. we'll keep an eye on developments in paris as those discussions continue. still to come, new york's police are accused of religious profiling as a surveillance program at the city's mosques is uncovered. launched a new and needed voice in journalism. the new york times calls it "serious, straight-forward news". "accurate, responsible" says the washington post. and the baltimore sun says, "instantly engaging and powerful". al jazeera america, there's more to it.
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welcome back. let's run through the top stories on al jazeera. u.s. president barack obama says the military has given him options for strikes against
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syria. he said the goal is to deter the future use of chemical weapons. activists say they have entered an area in rebel hands. moon says the team will stay in syria until saturday and must be allowed to complete its work. the british government has dropped plans for a quick vote in parliament on military action in syria. a final vote won't be held into the release of the u.n. inspecto inspecto inspectors' report and that's not expected for a few day. barnaby phillips and outside the british parliament. you can give us a taste of the robust parliamentary debate to come. >> reporter: i hope so. with me is a member of the parliament for the opposition labor party, and she's one of the most outspoken voices against british military intervention in syria. diane, the british government seems to backtrack quite a way from where we were saturday
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morning, and there's a second vote and waiting for the u.n. inspectors in syria to do their work. you must be quite pleased about that. >> i'm relieved we backed off where we were. it seemed there was a all-party consensus to bomb syria by the weekend, but i think politicians have listened to the public and the british public is 2:1 against bombing syria. the british public have seen this movie, and they know how it ends. >> reporter: william hague says it's a different movie, to use your language. he says in syria it's clear dreadful weapons of mass destruction exist and have been used. nobody disputes that. the argument might be who used them. very, very different to iraq where the british public was misled about weapons of mass destruction, which were never found. they've already been used in syria. >> they've been used, but we don't know who used them. one is inclined to think is must be assad, but the beneficiaries
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would be his opponents. >> reporter: who do you think used them? >> i do not know. i haven't seen the evidence. you have to bear in mind his opponent will benefit because that's the one thing to draw obama into the conflict. >> reporter: if there was conclusive evidence they were used by assad side, would you be in favor of military intervention then? >> i'm not in favor of a unilateral u.s. intervention with britain arriving shotgun. any military intervention in syria must be led by the united nations, and other countries in the region must play a big role. >> reporter: the americans must feel rather annoyed with the british at least in private now. >> i don't know. we know that obama was very, very reluctant to get involved in this. but the emergence of chemical weapons thinks he's in a difficult position. i don't think he'll be annoyed. we do need to learn the lessons of iraq, and certainly the british public do not support
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military intervention at this time. >> reporter: what makes you so confident as to where the british public stands? there's been one opinion poll, but this whole issue blew up while many politicians were away on holiday. isn't it a little premature to assume you are speaking for the majority here? >> there was more than one opinion poll. everyone that has spoken to me has urged me to stand firm against this bombing, and i think you'll find, as it wears on, opposition by the british public will get stronger, not weaker. >> reporter: diana, thank you very much. a taste of the kind of debate we're likely to hear in the palace of westminster later today. now we know a second debate will be necessary if or when britain decides to use military force against syria. >> thank you very much, barnaby. yemen does not have enough food to feed its population of almost 24 million.
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the u.n. estimates that nearly 60% of yemen children under the age of 5 are malnourishedemalno. tell us more, hasham. >> reporter: this is a real problem in yemen. the problem is it's been mishandled by former governments under the pretension that yemen faces other problems like the instability and the fight against al qaeda, but this is a real problem in the country. by the time families discover that their children are ma malnourisheded they have to go long distances to provide them with treatment. by the time they get to hospitals, it's really too late, and the damage is irreversible. now yemenese say they will do the best to tackle the report, but as we see in the report, it's a far more complex issue. a new child admitted to the therapeutic feeding center of
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this hospital. 3-year-old zahar suffered from severe malnutrition at birth. by the time her family brought her here, it was too late. her brain was permanently damaged, and she will never be able to walk. for the doctor the child's glazed eyes, tightly stretched skin and the stunting are signs of malnutrition and says she needs vitamins and urgently requires therapeutic food. >> 1 million children in yemen are affected with malnutrition. if not treated, the child cannot complications like these children in this hospital. if not treated properly, the child can easily die in his first two years of age. >> reporter: most of these children rely on peanut meal to survive, and they will have to spend a month here to recover. she moved to the city to treat her child, but it's not easy. she spended $25 a day.
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her husband is one of the millions who lives on less than a dollar a day. >> translator: this is my first child, and it breaks my heart to see him sick. i need to know how to treat my child. at the same time, we don't have money to buy medicine. i borrow money to look after my child. >> reporter: once released from hospital, the children need to be monitored for at least two months. one of the biggest obstacles that health officials face here is that most of the malnourisheded children need prolonged treatment, but their families live in rural areas far from the capital and cannot afford to come back for a follow-up, which means that child will not recover fully. there's also another problem. a lack of access to drinking water also leads to the outbreak of diseases that cause malnutrition. >> yemen as a society has not in the past dealt with malnutrition in the way that it needs to be treated. malnutrition in yemen is caused
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by economic problems and poverty and also a lack of access to clean water, in particular, sxen and then hygiene practices. >> international aid agencies send yemen hundreds of millions of dollars to eradicate malnutrition. not easy in the country. while filming inside the hospital, the staff was overwhelmed. they were cases of children being rushed by their families every five minutes or so. it's really very sad. you can see the picturesque signs of bloated stomachs and also stunting and sometimes families get back to the hospital when it's really too late. you can tell that these children will have permanent damage to their own brains. international aid agencies say that they need $1 billion to eradicate malnutrition in yemen.
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the problem is you're talking about a country that faces a string of political problems. instability fight against al qaeda, a movement in the south and the rebellion ft in the novrt of the country. it makes sense for this government that says we have to tackle those problems, and otherwise the country will plunge into anarchy. malnutrition is what we can tackle in the future, but as far as international aid agencies they are saying if we don't tackle these issues now, you will see thousands and thousands of children dying over the coming years. >> thank you. police in the u.s. are being accused of officially designating some mosques as terrorist organizations. that means they can monitor any or all worshippers. civil liberties groups are calling it religion profiling. >> reporter: midday prayers at the islamic society of bay ridge
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in brooklyn. according to the new york police department this is not merely a place of worship. documents leaked to the associated press reveal this is one of at least a dozen mosques in the city labeled by the department as a terrorist organization since 2003. the designation means anyone who attends their prayer meetings can be subject to investigation and also violence by the nypd. >> we came to this country for what? freedom, justice. this is the democracy. this is the most important thing you live for. when you find in the united states that it's not democracy, no justice, no freedom, what do you think? >> reporter: muslim groups say police commissioner ray kelly must reveal the information he says he has which justifies the terrorist labels and widespread monitoring. >> our kids learn in an after school program, women learning english, food pantries, mosques, sanctuaries, what sends them into our organization for ten years at a time.
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>> reporter: auk mad was appointed to the advisory council by commissioner kelly but has now resigned. >> i feel betrayed and stabbed in the back. we are the people that are trying to forge cooperation between the nypd and our community, and then you come up with being saying that just because we're muslims. >> reporter: on national television the police chief defended the surveillance programs and insisted they are legal. >> we do it according to the law. how we investigate it is done pursuant to a federal judge's direction. >> reporter: over the past year commissioner kelly and new york mayor bloomberg have rejected sustained criticism over the surveillance tactics claiming their necessary to keep the city safe. three human rights organizations including the american civil liberties union have sued the nypd accusing the department of unconstitutional religion profiling. ray kelly and michael bloomberg
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have repeatedly proven they won't back down, muslim groups have made it clear they won't either. the colombian president says he's ready for peace talks with left wing rebels following the release of a canadian hostage. he had been held captive by the national liberation army since january. that's the smaller guerrilla group. they were demanding his employer stop explorations on land they say was stolen. protests in argentina against shale gas exploration have turned violent. 3,000 demonstrators fought with riot police in front of a congress building. they're angry about a proposed deal between a state-run oil company and u.s. energy giant chevron. critics say the government is not being honest about the environmental risks of shale gas exploration. a massive power blackout in the northeast of brazil has left millions without electricity. eight states were affected including three cities hosting
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matches in next year's world cup. traffic lights and subway trains stopped working causing major disruption. authorities are blaming wildfires for the power cut, which lasted for three hours. when reactors at the fukushima nuclear plant went into meltdown, most of japan's other nuclear power stations were closed. that was more than two years ago, and now the government wants to re-open them and build more, and not everyone is happy. anita traveled to fukushima from where she sent this report. >> reporter: up the coast from the damaged fukushima daiichi reactor. unlike its neighbor, these reactors are intact but shut down. all but two of japan's 50 reactors are off for safety checks while the public debates abandoning nuclear energy completely. >> translator: i'm against nuclear power.
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it's too dangerous and too close to the sea. >> translator: it's hard. we need electricity, but we all know it's a risk. >> reporter: japan has a love/hate relationship with nuclear power. her sheem ma and nag sacky are one reason. japan's nuclear reactors produce energy. imported oil and gas cost the country a fortune. renewables like wind and geothermal can't meet demand. jap japanese nuclear energy was supposed to be efficient and reliable until the disaster exposed the flaws. opinion polls show that opposition to turn the power plants back on remains strong at over 50%, but more people are coming around to living with nuclear power again. that's what japan's prime minister shinzo abe wants. he's visiting gulf states to
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sell them japanese nuclear technology. he wants the reactors at home back working and to build more. his supporters say it's an economic and strategic necessity. >> translator: both china and south korea are building many new nuclear power plants and trying to export the technology. it's inferior to japanese technology. we need to export it. >> reporter: he says japan can market itself as learning from its mistakes, but others say the discovery at fukushima daiichi of new radiation leaks will turn many japanese against nuclear power again. >> these power plants are sort of leaking like sifs, if you like. that, i think, is, in fact, shocking people again into rethinking their rethought positions. public opinion is really very, very fragile. >> reporter: the japanese economy is fragile, too. fossil fueled imported to replace nuclear power cost japan $40 billion a year.
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the japanese have to decide which is more expensive, fixing their damaged nuclear industry or living without it. anita mcnaught,al jazeera, tokes yo. a quick reminder of the website address. it's aljazeera.com.
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